My Pegoretti Marcelo: The Thin White Duke

At last my dream bike is complete: A Pegoretti Marcelo. It’s to bike ownership what a Chanel 2:55 is to handbags: a timeless classic piece of artisanal craft whose quality is evident but not showy.

Pegoretti Marcelo

Pegoretti Marcelo: The Thin White Duke

Ordered in January 2011 and finally delivered today, it’s been a lengthy process but never a fraught one thanks to the charm and good humour of Roger Graver at Mosquito bikes.

I went with stock geometry as the wait time for a custom one is nigh on two years now. Plus I’m not really a custom geometry. I’m a pretty standard 52cm frame sort of shape.

I’m aware that this is the last of its generation as Dario Pegoretti has changed his design for the Marcelo this year in terms of tube shape and diameter. I really wanted this classic style and so was easily persuaded by Roger to go for this over a Duende, despite it costing a bit more.

I wanted a white bike because they look good and go faster. And I also wanted a personal touch. So I asked Dario to include a quotation from the Italian humanist writer Renato Serra who was killed during World War One.

Renato Serra quote on Pegoretti Marcelo

It comes from Esame di coscienza di un letterato and reads in the original:

“Del resto, viviamo, poiché non se può fare a meno, la vita è così.”



I first read it in Passion and defiance: film in Italy from 1942 to the present, By Mira Liehm, where it appears at the beginning of the chapter Obsession as part of a much longer quote and is applied to the yearnings of the neo-realist cinema movement. It is translated thus:

“And we live because we cannot afford not to, because that is life.”

I’ve always felt it’s something to be reminded of on a daily basis and being an Italian quotation, it felt right to have it on the bike. I hope Dario appreciated the sentiment of it.

Complete Specification

Frame: Stock 52cm geometry frame Pegoretti Marcelo 2010 model with custom spec paint (Bianco Segnale RAL 901 with black details and hand-written quotation)
Fork: Mizuno Carbon
Headset: Chris King NoThreadSet
Handlebar: Deda Speciale 44cm
Stem: Velo Orange 120mm +/-6 degree 31.8mm via Fresh Tripe Bikes
Seatpost: Kalloy Uno 29.4mm
Saddle: Selle San Marco Rolls Forato

Drive Train

Bottom bracket: Shimano UN-54, Square Taper JIS, Italian Thread
Chainset: Stronglight Impact 165mm 50/36
Chain: Wipperman Connex 10X
Cables: Jagwire Pro Racer
Shifters: SRAM Rival
Front derailleur: SRAM Rival 31.8mm Band on
Rear Derailleur: SRAM Rival
Brake Callipers: SRAM Rival
Brake Pads and Holders: Swiss Stop Pro Green
Pedals: Speedplay Zero Stainless

 

Wheels/Tyres

Wheels: 32-hole Ambrosio Excellight rims laced to Shimano Ultegra hubs with Alpina F1 spokes, built to order by Harry Rowland
Tyres: Challenge Criterium Open tubular 23mm

This entry was posted in Bikes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Steff

    Bravo! Properly gorgeous. I’d have put Athena on it, obv, but otherwise perfect.

    • Yes, would have liked to have had classic chrome/alu look throughout, like Athena, but as all other bikes are SRAM, made sense. And I’d acquired a parts bin that is almost entirely SRAM. Lucky to have some old Rival in silver from my old cross bike as I hate the plain black ones they do now. Athena is lovely but I love SRAM.

      • Glendsouza1

        Hi  – lovely bike, hope you don’t mind but how tall are you?  52cm stock should be the right size for me but would be intersted to here from someone who actually has one?
        Thanks, Glen

        • Hi Glen, I’m 5ft 6 inches or so (171cm), My inseam is about 29-30 inches (73-76cm) and on that frame my height from centre bottom bracket to top saddle is 69-70cm (depending on which shoes I’m using). I’m averagely flexible, in that I can touch my toes when warmed up but not get my palms flat on the floor. 

          I’ve got 40mm of spacers under the stem and the stem is a -6 degree, 120mm one from Velo Orange.Hope that info helps.

          • Glendsouza1

            Thanks Alex, great info

  • This is just gorgeous. A proper, proper bike.

  • Glen

    Hi  – lovely bike, hope you don’t mind but how tall are you?  52cm stock should be the right size for me but would be intersted to here from someone who actually has one?Thanks, Glen